Bison athletics in full swing
President’s Day weekend was a busy one for North Dakota State athletics, and with eight seasons currently going and one more starting this Saturday, it can be hard to keep up with everything that is going on. So, it is time to break it down.
The hottest team in the Summit League hosted the league leading South Dakota State Jackrabbits Saturday. NDSU held a substantial lead throughout most of the game, limiting Mike Daum to 4 of 11 shooting in the first half to lead 39-30 at halftime. With two minutes to go, NDSU led 74-65, but the Jackrabbits went on a 10-3 run, making it 76-75. Rocky Kreuser went 1 for 2 from the free throw line for the Bison. On the second miss, David Jenkins Jr. hauled down the rebound and banked in the half-court buzzer-beater for a heartbreaking 78-75 SDSU win.
The first game of the basketball doubleheader was a one-way affair. NDSU suffered a devastating 88-48 loss. Michelle Gaislerova was the only Bison in double-digit scoring with 16 points. NDSU shot just 36.5 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from deep. The win puts SDSU at a sturdy 12-1 record while the Bison fell to 3-10.
NDSU came away with a 31-10 win and reclaimed the Border Bell trophy over SDSU. NDSU pulled off five straight wins in the middle of the meet to pull away from the Jacks. With his second victory of the season via a fall, Brent Fleetwood became the first Bison with 20 wins this year. The fourth straight win in a row for the Bison ended the Jacks’ dominance in the rivalry, as SDSU held the last four Border Bell victories.
In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the Bison softball team took on the Washington Huskies. NDSU lost the close match 5-3. Both teams came out firing, ending with a 3-2 Washington lead. Bison junior Zoe Stavrou delivered an RBI single in the fifth inning to tie the game up, but the Huskies scored in each of the last two frames to win.
The following day in the same place, NDSU took on Southern Illinois. The game resulted in another loss on their Mexico trip. This one came down to the wire with NDSU losing 9-10. Despite an early 8-3 lead at the end of the third inning, the Salukis were able to come back, scoring seven more runs before the game was over.
Track and field
Both the Bison men and women took a trip up I-29 to Grand Forks for one last meet before the Summit League Indoor Championships.
The men’s team walked away with eight wins despite not being at full strength. Kurt TeBeest took hold of the 800m with a time of 1:56.05. Luke Foertsch won the triple jump, and senior Ryan Enerson did the same in the 60m hurdles. Lastly, in the mile, the Bison swept the top four positions with Connor Schank on the top step.
For the women, the main focus fell to Maddy Nilles in the weight throw. On Saturday, she extended her own school record by 7 inches, placing her at No. 11 in the NCAA. The women won four other events, including Tasha Willing in the shot put and freshman Rhaeghn Gripentrog in the 60m dash.
The baseball season opened out West for the Bison last weekend. NDSU was able to take one win from the three-game series with Sacramento State. The Bison came out swinging for a 9-1 win in the first game. However, both games of the doubleheader Sunday went the way of the hosts, with the Hornets taking 2-1 and 8-3 contests.
The last event of the weekend was a men’s golf tournament in Savannah Harbor. Van Holmgren shot the second-lowest round Sunday to propel up the leaderboard. Starting the day in a tie for 35th, the sophomore rallied a 68 to finish sixth. Two Bison sat in a tie for ninth, as both Andrew Israelson and Jed Baranczyk were one shot behind Holmgren.